In an effort to combat the academic “summer slide,” Lake Oconee Academy redesigned their annual summer reading program to include mathematics, while science and social studies were integrated into the reading portion of the program. All grade levels in Pre-K4 through 7th were required to complete the summer assignments.
Students completed reading logs, language arts and math worksheets, as well as put technology to good use. LOA students used the online XtraMath program to build fluency in recalling math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), utilized Glogster to create digital presentations in lieu of traditional book reports, and participated in the Reading A-Z’s RAZ-Kids online reading program. Teachers were able to monitor students’ progress throughout the summer with these programs.
LOA is a community of readers and the summer was no exception. RAZ-Kids provided a targeted approach to instruction as opposed to a one-size-fits-all method. The program is a comprehensive collection of resources developed to implement best practices as defined by research – a collection that provides teachers easy and ready access to an instructional “toolbox” they can use to meet the needs of each student. LOA’s goal is to ensure teachers have such a “toolbox” to provide students at LOA with just the right size books.
RAZ-Kids provides both school and home access to an on-line leveled library of fiction and non-fiction reading material. Log-in information was mailed to the parents during the summer and the results of the students’ self-initiated efforts were outstanding! Approximately 200 students between grades Pre-K - 3 with some added students who chose to participate had over 11,000 completed download reads equal to over 10,000 completed books listened to by the student, read independently by the student, or both. In most cases, a comprehension quiz was also completed on each book.
“The response is a testimony to the students and their parents,” stated Dr. Otho Tucker, CEO of LOA. “It is obvious that reading is a high priority in those homes.”
Dr. Tucker is challenging his students to use the program in their off-time at home throughout the school year. Top readers will be recognized once a month during LOA’s in-house morning show.